On Monday night I thought I had a great run. What started out as a normal run turned into a "push the pace" four miler, complete with wanting to puke, pushing through it, and joy when I looked at my watch. 32:35- an 8:09 pace! This is the fastest I've run in a long time, especially considering that I didn't run for almost 4 months. I was proud of my time and my ability to embrace the suck.
Unfortunately, the past then came to haunt (or maybe taunt) me. I ran a marathon a few years ago at an 8:05 pace. So that is four seconds per mile faster than a pace that was hard as hell to maintain for four miles. I know I'm coming back from an injury and don't have nearly the miles I had in me that I did when I ran that marathon, but man, that comparison was crushing. Oh well, it was still a great run, and I could get back to that, right?
Today's run made me feel the furthest I could be from that 8:05 marathon pace. The plan was a long run, shooting for about 10 miles, but not dead set on it. I took yesterday off to have fresh legs. Apparently my legs didn't get that message though. I felt flat. Every step from the very first one seemed like a struggle. Initially I did have some right hamstring pain, but I stretched after running a couple blocks and that subsided (keep this in mind in the future...). My legs felt like lead, and for no reason. I know I'm out of shape, but I haven't done anything crazy this week. I got a decent amount of sleep the past couple of nights. The weather was mild. My calves were tight but no real pain. I kept looking for something to blame my misery on but no easy answer. All I can think is I didn't fuel enough. I had a banana when I woke up
(about 1.5 hrs before the run) and a gu right before. I took a gu on
the run at 3.5 miles.
I ended up with 8 miles at a 9:04 pace. Slower than 9 minute miles. That was humbling. The bright side- I ran 8 miles. My hip felt good. Swinging my arms no longer kills my shoulder. I have 13 weeks until the half marathon. Plenty of good to build on. But then I remember that my 10 mile PR is 1:11:xx. Today's run was 1:12:xx. So a few years ago it took me less time to run 10 miles than it took me to run 8 today.
I'm not really sure what is a feasible goal for the half marathon. I really want to give it my all (a theme of this year) and see what shape I can get back into. However, based on these comparisons this week, it seems like an overall PR is probably unlikely. At this point, I'd be thrilled with a sub 1:45 half marathon, which breaks down to an 8 min/mile pace. I've got my work cut out for me to do that. I also have a goal of racing at 120 lbs, which is close to a pound a week of weight loss.
They say the first step to achieving a goal is to put it out there, so there you have it. 13 weeks. Dear body, please hold up.